(2017, 13:02 mins)
Bang Lee is a “Pondan” Muslim (Katoey in Thai), s/he went back home during Eid holiday to visit hir mother at Na Pradoo village in Pattani. After hir parent separated, s/he has to choose who s/he would like to stay with during the holiday. This year s/he made a choice to see hir mother but later s/he felt uncomfortable because hir mother remarried and s/he felt alienated from her mother new family. S/He cried as s/he has no idea where s/he can fit in at this moment. This moving image work ‘NEVERLAND’ portrays the moment that s/he unfolds him/herself from sadness to an imaginary land, a place with no definition of gender, value, moral, nor limitation and exists outside of time. This video art shows both the reality of Islamic community in the deep south of Thailand and Bang Lee’s imagination of freedom, to project how society deal with this liminality.
(2017, 12:44 mins)
Sheep is a video art that alternates social narratives in the Deep South through other ‘actors’, who are not just people or human-being in this society. By giving the so-called ‘nonhuman’ who also live and interact within the same community / environment, the reflection of such still-violent society is presented in different perspective. Sheep, as a Muslim pet for the Qurban or the sacrificing slaughter, is related to Islamic and local cultures. Creating myth about ‘stigmatized sheep’ is also no different than what the state attempts to defile people in the Deep South. The study of sheep in this work seeks to provide an insight into Muslim studies that I have studied constantly, by focusing more on the question over phenomena than emphasizing on the ideal Muslim society.
The Day I Became …
(2018, 33:20 mins)
In late 2017, while waiting at a barber shop located on a street near a university in Pattani I saw two Muslim girls wearing white veils (hijab) stop their motorbike in front of the shop. They waited for awhile, later the barber came out and spoke to the two girls. While cutting my hair, the barber told me that the two sisters asked him to have their hair cut like a man’s. The barber felt uncomfortable because he rarely cuts women’s hair, but he understood that these two girls would have no choice — where could they go without being judged, two women who want the hairstyle of a man? In 2018, I met with Kayna. A teenager who was a woman when she left Yala, her hometown to work in Bangkok. Moving out of her home was not just moving away, but feeling her sexual disorientation that was always judged as sinful. Fleeing home did not immediately provide a comfort zone of individual space, now he still struggles with his own family about religion, social stigma, and family shame. Moving out is not just a matter of space, but it is moving away from his former religion. Her haircut; from her to him, is not only a gender decision, but also a passage in life to an “ex-Muslim” who can no longer be the same…